Escape velocity

Overview

Physics

Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, escape velocity is the speed

Speed

In kinematics, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity ; it is thus a scalar quantity. The average speed of an object in an interval of time is the distance traveled by the object divided by the duration of the interval; the instantaneous speed is the limit of the average speed as...

at which the kinetic energy

Kinetic energy

The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes...

plus the gravitational potential energy of an object is zero gravitational potential energy is negative since gravity is an attractive force and the potential is defined to be zero at infinity. It is the speed needed to "break free" from a gravitational field without further propulsion.

For a spherically-symmetric body, escape velocity is calculated by the formula

where

*G*is the universal gravitational constant

Gravitational constant

The gravitational constant, denoted G, is an empirical physical constant involved in the calculation of the gravitational attraction between objects with mass. It appears in Newton's law of universal gravitation and in Einstein's theory of general relativity. It is also known as the universal...

(G=6.67×10

^{-11}m

^{3}kg

^{-1}s

^{-2}), M the mass of the planet, star or other body, and r the distance from the centre of gravity.

In this equation atmospheric friction or air drag, is not taken into account.

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